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Not at all.
It is simply a very C++-ish "do not pay for something you do not use". I am rather fond how performant our compilation at $WORK is where the build is heavily customized and at the speed of C rather than C++. Think build of a C package (no time) rather than a complex template-heavy C++ package. Optionally turning off Modules moves that way. Optionally turning off RTTI goes a tiny bit further. Certain parts we need to keep (exceptions, template meta-programming, etc pp) but this was a low-hanging fruit.
In short, I think you speculated way far beyond what was reasonable, and got it wrong. It happens.
Base R contains no C++.
AFAIK r-devel defaults to C++11 now in the sense that you need to make a use for C++98 explicit. See the svn logs or rss feed of the changes. Not that it matters to us.
I might've felt differently before, but now I would much rather have Rcpp remain a single package that can be configured in different ways as required by the user.
As a package author, maintaining compatibility between a variety of sub-packages (and teaching users how to use them properly) is not worth the overhead.
I much prefer the "turn features on and off" approach rather than the "divide features into separate packages" approach.
There isn't really a roadmap because (at least, as far as I know) there aren't any big plans for over-arching changes right now.
Most of the work is around ensuring Rcpp continues to work as new versions of R, OSes and compilers are released. We should also try to take advantage of new features of these systems when possible and appropriate.
This does saddle Rcpp with a fair amount of requirements for backwards compatibility, but IMHO this is necessary as many clients of Rcpp move very slowly as well. For example, I suspect there are still a substantial number of Rcpp users out there stuck with gcc 4.9.x, or even older.
Likely, the most important thing we could do for Rcpp right now is figure out a way to respect (or take advantage of) ALTREP with newer releases of R, but my gut says that will be very challenging.